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Police group calls Evers administration comments ’premature, judgmental, inflammatory’

The group asked the administration to stop commenting until the investigation is finished
(WSAW)
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 4:01 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Badger State Sheriff’s Association along with the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, Wisconsin Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Wisconsin Police Executive Group have sent a joint letter to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes asking the administration to refrain from making statements specific to the City of Kenosha Police until the facts of the investigation are known.

The letter goes on to say, “Previous remarks and statements made by each of you are premature, judgmental, inflammatory and only add to the anger and divisiveness of an already dangerous situation.”

The letter also asks Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes to call for an end to the protests taking place.

Both Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes were quick to respond to Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, holding a press conference Monday.

In that press conference, Gov. Evers acknowledged that an investigation was underway before referring to Jacob Blake’s shooting as a part of racism being a public health crisis. Lieutenant Governor Barnes echoed that message saying in part “This was not an accident. This wasn’t bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community.”

On Wednesday, new details were released that Blake told officers he had a knife in his possession at the time of the incident.

Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran with the Kenosha Police Department, was identified as the only officer that shot Blake, seven times in the back, while officers tried to arrest him.

The DOJ’s Department of Criminal Investigation says all officers involved are cooperating with the investigation and are on administrative leave.

The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office shared the letter on Facebook saying in part, “Law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are very concerned for the safety of the citizens we serve. We continue to encourage the rights of citizens to peacefully protest but strongly condemn the riots and violence that are occurring in Kenosha and other areas of the state.”

The letter released can be read below:

Governor Evers and Lieutenant Governor Barnes:

The purpose of this letter is to respectfully ask that those in your administration discontinue and refrain from making statements and issuing press releases specific to the City of Kenosha Police involved shooting until the facts of the investigation are known.

Previous remarks and statements made by each of you are premature, judgmental, inflammatory and only add to the anger and divisiveness of an already dangerous situation.

A continued pattern of statements and press releases based on opinion and unsubstantiated claims puts people’s lives at risk. These are not peaceful protests. There have already been two deaths and many injuries.

Continued remarks like those already made by each of you have also put the lives of Law Enforcement Officers, National Guardsman and the public at risk.

Law Enforcement Leaders also respectfully ask that you call for an end to these riots and a stop to the violence.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Mark Podoll, President, WI Badger State Sheriff’s Association

Chief Kenneth Pileggi, President WI Chiefs of Police Association

Chief Deputy Jeff Spencer, President, WI Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Chief William Lamb President, WI Police Executive Group

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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